Working from home during COVID-19 certainly has some benefits, but many of those benefits, such as being around family more, can actually be a bit detrimental if work is causing a lot of stress.
As work addiction can affect family life and mental health, it’s important to de-stress at the end of a long day or week. Here are some tips on how to wind down, even if your work week was from the so-called comfort of your home.
1. Reach for the Remote
Even if your work week was spent in front of a computer screen, playing some videogames or watching an out-there show on TV can take your mind to a different place for a while. In addition to helping destress, “escaping” into a good book, movie, game, etc., can increase your attention span and reverse some of the causes of anxiety that come with stress.
2. Head to the Kitchen
Healthy food helps with both physical and mental well-being, but even if your favorite food is deep fried ice cream, digging in to a meal that you love is another successful (and tasty) de-stressor. Even better, making it an event and cooking your favorite meal requires attention to something other than the stressful job you’ve been working.
3. Work Out
Even if hitting the gym isn’t part of your regular routine, doing some sort of physical activity after a stressful week can do wonders for your stress levels. Aerobics, yoga, shooting hoops, house cleaning or just a quick jog are all types of exercise than won’t take up more than a half hour of your time, but will pump up your endorphins, which are the feel-good transmitters of the brain.
YouTube is loaded with free self-guided meditations for stress relief, and is something that can prove most effective in the middle of the stressful week, as well as at the end. If you start feeling the burdens of work early in the week, set aside 20 minutes to relax the mind with a guided meditation.
5. Call an Old Friend or Loved One
Social distancing doesn’t mean you have to be socially distant, and a nice call to an old pal or family member is a great way to get your mind off the things that have been stressing you, and it will most likely play the same role for the person you call, as a bonus! Zoom movie dates and card games are both great ways to spend quality time even if you can’t be close to someone.
6. Sleep it Off
Sleep duration is inversely proportional to stress levels, and the more sleep you can get, the more the pressures of daily life will subside. This one generally takes a bit more time and adjustment for workaholics, but if you can find the means to up your sleep habits by an hour or two, your brain will thank you.
7. Get Pampered
If you have a bathtub, go ahead and fill it up to relieve some stress. If you have a significant other who is willing to play the role of masseuse, let him or her know that you’ve been feeling overworked and see if a nice massage is in the cards. Letting them know that you’re going to cook your favorite meal later might be a good bargaining chip, too!
8. Repeat as Necessary
Stress comes back, and unfortunately if often comes back quickly. If it’s within your abilities to add some of these de-stressors to your regular work week, they become second nature and can continually combat the daily stress that comes with a high-pressure occupation. Most of the things on this list are generally perceived as “after work” activities, but exercise and meditation can (and even should) be done before work or during a midday break.